Addicted to Tablets: Has the iPad Replaced Books and Traditional Toys?

Addicted to Tablets: Has the iPad Replaced Books and Traditional Toys?

The rise of Apple has been well documented by analysts and researchers alike – the Centurno based companies recent results announcement and subsequent share price rise, has seen Apple become once again, the most valuable company in the world. The Middle East’s tech savvy consumer represent a rich seam for Apple and fellow consumer electronics giants but the success of their products and the subsequent impact on consumers lives, is a subject of debate across the region with particular focus on the growing role that the products play in children’s development.

A YouGov online study in UAE and KSA, amongst 729 and 777 respondents respectively, reveals the Apple iPad is the most widely owned gadget*, with 30% claiming ownership across both countries (33% in KSA and 26% in UAE).

The gadget parents in UAE are most likely to allow their children to use is the iPad – just over 1 in 4 (26%) of female iPad owners would allow their children (below the age of 6) to use it compared to 20% of UAE men. Alarmingly, 44% of parents in the UAE would describe their child/children as “addicted” to their iPad.

  • 52% of UAE parents agree their child prefers using the iPad to reading books
  • 58% agree their child prefers playing with the iPad to playing with traditional toys
  • 47% believe their child would prefer playing with their iPad to playing in the park/outdoor activities
  • 46% agree that their child is more knowledgeable about the iPad than they are
  • 30% feel guilty about their child using the iPad
  • 82% feel their child learns a lot from their iPad
  • 28% feel their child lack social skills due to using the iPad

Like UAE, the gadget parents in KSA are most likely to allow their children to use is the iPad (33% compared to 26% in UAE). In KSA, almost 4 in 10 (39%) female iPad owners would allow their children (below the age of 6) to use it compared to 30% of men. Even more parents in KSA than UAE, would describe their child/children as “addicted” to their iPad (50% compared to 44% in UAE).

  • 70% of KSA parents agree their child prefers using the iPad to reading books
  • 76% agree their child prefers playing with the iPad to playing with traditional toys
  • 59% believe their child would prefer playing with their iPad to playing in the park/outdoor activities
  • 55% agree that their child is more knowledgeable about the iPad than they are
  • 35% feel guilty about their child using the iPad
  • 84% feel their child learns a lot from their iPad
  • 29% feel their child lack social skills due to using the iPad

Interestingly, the iPad seems to be slightly more popular amongst women in KSA and UAE (34% women vs. 27% men), however men seem slightly more attached to their iPad (65% of men “somewhat attached”/”can’t imagine life without it” compared to 60% of women). Overall, across both markets, 42% of respondents claim to be “somewhat attached” to their iPad and 27% of respondents aged above 40 state they “couldn’t live without” their iPads.

Samsung’s flagship tablet (the Galaxy tab), is the second most owned gadget in KSA households (26% vs. 11% ownership in UAE), compared to the Sony PSP in UAE (16% vs. 14% in KSA). Revealingly in KSA, the sense of attachment to the Samsung product is even stronger amongst male Galaxy owners than male iPad owners (70% vs. 65%). For women in KSA, the Apple product inspires greater attachment (63% vs. 58%).

Overall, across both countries, the majority of iPad, Blackberry Playbook, Galaxy Tab and Amazon Kindle users are satisfied by their tablet purchase and rate it as “somewhat useful”/ “money well spent”. Worryingly for Sony**, 1 in 5 owners believe their Sony Tablet is “a waste of money” (compared to 7% of iPad owners, 8% of Galaxy and Kindle owners and 11% of Playbook owners)

* Respondents were asked which of the following “gadgets” they owned: Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Blackberry Playbook, Amazon Kindle, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 3, Sony PSP, Microsoft Xbox, Sony Tablet & Asus Transformer

** Low base size of 43 Sony Tablet owners

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